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Alexandrite Spinel?


Hi all you gemlovers,

In all my years of buying and selling gemstones, I now bought this as a rough spinel, let my cutter do his job and send it to IGI to certify, this is what I got back…

Does this refer to the colorchange of the spinel, if yes, why they don’t write this in the report?

Feedback is appreciated!



Very strange… alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberil, not spinel. I think you have to contact the lab, must have been a mistake…


Thank you for your reply… I will contact the Lab for more information.


Yes, agree with BH-Gems not sure how IGI could have made this error. Slightly worrying too!


Did IGI tell you that it is a color change spinel? There is such a thing. I have heard of man made but the natural ones are not so common.


Someone at IGI was not paying attention. Please let us know how they resolve this.


It is hard to imagine how this lab can make this big of an error. Spinels are singly refractive with no pleochroism and Alexandrites are doubly refractive and trichroric. I’ll bet this lab would pay you to get this report back!! :))


Yes I also agree with BH Gems, only recognised Alexandrite in the trade is Chrysoberyl, some other’s use the term Alexandrite colour change for other gems but this is not correct. It would seem who ever put this report together really does not know what they are saying or doing???


I’d be skeptical of the expertise of any lab that failed to distinguish between chrysoberyl and spinel. However, to answer the question, there are color change spinels.



IGI is a for-profit gem lab that charges prices similar to GIA with a fraction of the quality and is much worse in almost every way. Despite this, it’s oddly popular throughout Europe and Asia…Their poor service is starting to catch up with them, their Toronto office recently shut down. I do have to use them myself, as many of my customers demand it, but I don’t like it!